Rarely in Division I Basketball do you see a player start all four years of eligibility. Senior guard Harald Frey has done that and much more during his career as a Bobcat. The Oslo, Norway native is the Cat’s leading scorer and assister in his senior season, averaging 17.3 points and 4.7 assists per game, while playing 37 out of the possible 40 minutes per game. After a successful career as an amateur in Norway’s professional league and his years at MSU, Frey has shown the ability to manage the pace of games at an extraordinary level. Frey, who is also a team captain, is an excellent student, studying psychology at MSU. He is also a candidate for the 2019-20 Senior CLASS Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I Basketball. To be considered, one must exemplify excellence in the community, classroom, character and competition. On top of his recognitions, Frey hit a game winning half-court shot against UNC Greensboro earlier this season that earned him ESPN Sportscenter’s top play of the night on Nov. 16.
Upon graduation, Frey hopes to get a chance to play professionally. For the fans who have watched number five play the past four seasons, they have no doubt that he’ll find success at the next level. The future is bright for Frey, thanks to his dedication, it is also bright for MSU basketball. For more on Frey and the Cats’ upcoming game against the Griz on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m., check out this week’s Cat/Griz basketball preview on page 7.
Could you describe how your senior season is going so far?
It’s going well. I am having a ton of fun. It’s going by fast, of course, and it’s crazy how fast my time in college has gone, but I’m having a fun time with my teammates and I’m loving the coaching staff. As long as we continue to win, things will continue to be good.
What’s the mindset for the rest of the season?
Of course we want to win every game, so we try and focus on attacking every day and telling ourselves that the rent is due every day, so we have to put in the work. Definitely my ultimate goal is to go to the NCAA tournament and take part in March Madness. I don’t care how we get there, we just need to get ourselves some wins in order to get there, and that’s as far as I am looking right now.
How has your basketball journey from prep academy to the Norweigian professional league to starting all four years as a Bobcat prepared you for this final stretch of your senior season?
It’s been great playing at a high level in the men’s league [BLNO Norway professional league] against some really good players by being in some high pressure situations and winning a couple of national championships in Norway. So I do have an understanding of what it takes to be on a winning team at a high level, and adding that with my experiences here gives me a lot to share with the younger guys in the program. The more we gel together and find this common goal and understand how much work it takes to reach that high level, the better we will be, and that’s our goal right now.
With so many fresh faces around the program from coaches to players this season, how much have you guys come together since meeting this summer?
It’s been great. I never want a coaching change to happen because everyone wants stability and to find the perfect situation right away, but that’s not always how it shapes up. I think this transition has gone as smoothly as any transition could have gone. I think the players and coaches from last year have done a really great job of helping the new coaches, players and trainers fit into our culture and also allowed us the chance to establish a new culture. I really think it’s been as easy as you could hope since we’ve been all getting along and hanging out away from the court, and it’s beginning to become a family, and honestly I am kind of sad I only get one year with all of these guys. It’s been great building this close bond and getting to know each other a bit more every day, and I am really excited about this journey that we are on.
What’s the legacy you hope to leave at MSU?
For me it’s about more than just scoring baskets and dishing out assists. I want to make an impact on this community because when I was in the recruiting process and looking for my school I didn’t want to find a place where I would only go for four years then never return again. I wanted a place that I could look back at and call a second home where I’ll be coming back for five, ten, twenty years and still have the same connections. So that’s what I want to build for people on the other side of their Bobcat career as well. To make this a place where I just might be missed a little, and when I come back people will remember who I am. I just want to create an atmosphere like that for the guys who will come after me. We always talk about leaving it off better than when you found it, so for me that’s on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
What interests you about psychology?
It’s always been an interest of mine. Just knowing how individuals function in different settings and stuff. Coaching for example, and the mental aspect of basketball has always interested me, so I like to apply that to life in general and sports. Sports psychology is something I can definitely see myself getting a masters degree in if I pursue my education further along the line. I just think that there is so much to be explored in the mental aspect, especially in sports, where there is so much focus on technique and strength, but a bigger part possibly than the physical aspects of sports is the mental aspect of sports and applying that to real life as well because so much of what we go through in life is mental. Overall, I find it interesting and I believe there is not much point in obtaining a degree in something uninteresting.